Okinawa-based Marine to compete for USO global volunteer of the year honors
By CARLOS M. VAZQUEZ II | STARS AND STRIPES Published: December 3, 2018
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — An Okinawa-based Marine is up for global honors after being named the first USO Pacific volunteer of the year from the southern Japanese island prefecture.
Lance Cpl. Samuel Jacksonwest — who devoted 480 off-duty hours at the Camp Foster USO over the past six months — was honored for his efforts during a Nov. 28 ceremony at the Okinawa Marine base. He was chosen over top volunteers in Korea, Guam, Hawaii and elsewhere in Japan.
His volunteer work included serving food, cleaning and assisting USO staff with activities.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity to be recognized for doing a good deed, and simply to be an example to my peers that doing the right thing never goes unseen,” he told Stars and Stripes after receiving the award. “Helping other people pays off in the end.”
The Atlanta native will compete against other top volunteers from the United States, Europe and Southwest Asia for the USO global volunteer of the year. That award will be given at a time and date yet to be announced.
The USO depends on its more than 30,000 volunteers to keep its mission of providing programs, entertainment and services to servicemembers and their families at more than 200 locations worldwide, according to the organization’s website.